Ethical Concern That May Arise When Using the Above Methods Term Paper

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Psychology Concepts

Psychology is a term derived from two Greek words that translate to life explanation, which makes it an important element of daily life. The field of psychology can be described as a discipline that focuses on the study of mind and behavior (Stangor, 2010, p.7). This discipline is characterized by several concepts and approaches that are used by psychologists in understanding human behavior. Since psychology is a broad field, psychologists not only use these concepts and approaches but also conduct scientific research that enables them to understand human behavior. Some of the most common psychological concepts that are used to modify or change an individual's behavior include operant conditioning, positive and negative punishment, and positive and negative reinforcement.

Operant condition can be described as a learning method that is used to modify or change a person's behavior through experiences and consequences. While it is part of the process of conditioning, this method of learning is different from classical conditioning in terms of its emphasis on reinforcement and punishment to modify behavior. The subsequent behavior from this learning method functions on the environment and is sustained by experiences and consequences. Generally, the method is used to change behavior through establishing a specific goal, evaluating behavior, reinforcing desired behavior, and punishing undesired behavior. The ethical concern that may arise from the use of this method is that an individual is likely to be discouraged from attempting to do a certain task when he/she knows that he/she will be unable to complete it and get a reward. A real life example of operant conditioning occurred recently in our home when my little was rewarded by my parents for performing well in her final exams.

Positive punishment is one of the major aspects of operant conditioning that is used to weaken an undesired behavior. This method is used to modify or change behavior by attempting to stop an undesired behavior from happening in the future through providing an unfavorable event or result after the occurrence of the unexpected behavior. An example of the use of this method is when my friend was recently grounded by his parents for misbehaving in school. While positive punishment helps in modifying behavior, it may cause an individual to be embarrassed and contribute to other negative behavior, which is a major ethical concern.

On the contrary, negative punishment is a…

Sources Used in Document:


Stangor, C. (2010). Introduction to psychology. Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge, L.L.C.

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